Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Transplant Proc. 2008 Jul-Aug;40(6):1921-4. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2008.05.075.

Pediatric acute liver failure with molecular adsorbent recirculating system treatment.

Author information

  • 1Dipartimento Paride Stefanini Unità di Chirurgia Generale e Trapianti d'Organo, La Sapienza Università di Roma, Rome, Italy.



The prognosis of pediatric acute liver failure (PALF) has been significantly improved by emergency orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Since 2004, the molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS) has been proposed as a bridging procedure. The aim of our study was to assess its efficacy in children with PALF.


Since 1999 we performed treatment of 39 fulminant hepatic failure (FHF) cases with MARS. Since September 2004 we treated 6 pediatric patients with FHF who were of mean age 10.6 years (range, 3-15 years) including 4 females and 2 males. In 3 cases the cause of FHF was unknown; in 2 cases, it was induced by paracetamol overdose; and in 1, by acute hepatitis B virus. Inclusion criteria were: bilirubin >15 mg/dL; creatinine >or=2 mg/dL; encephalopathy grade >II; and International normalized ratio (INR) >2.5. Other estimated parameters were: AST and ALT serum levels, lactate, and urine volume. Neurological status was monitored using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Continuous MARS treatment was performed in all patients with a kit change every 8 hours. Intensive care unit (ICU) treatment was applied to optimize regeneration and to prevent cardiovascular complications.


We observed a significant improvement among levels of bilirubin (P< .009), ammonia (P< .005), creatinine (P< .02), GCS (P< .002), and predictive criteria and as Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) and Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease (PELD). Three children underwent OLT: 1 died after 5 days due to primary nonfunction and 2 children are alive after a median follow-up of 14 months. In 2 children the MARS treatment led to resolution of clinical status without liver transplantation. One child died before OLT due to sepsis and multiorgan failure.


We concluded that application of the MARS liver support device in combination with experienced ICU management contributed to improve the clinical status in children with PALF awaiting liver transplantation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center